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State seeks developer for system to schedule Covid vaccinations

JOHNSTON — Governor Kim Reynolds is asking developers to submit proposals to the state for creation of a system that will help Iowans schedule Covid vaccinations.

“Ideally, it would create a one-stop-shop where Iowans could provide their information and be matched with vaccine providers near them,” she said Thursday.

Since vaccinations began on December 14, about 70,000 Iowans have received both doses. Nearly 137,000 others have gotten a first dose. According to the Centers for Disease Control, Iowa ranks 3rd lowest among the states in the percentage of residents who have been vaccinated.

“We’re making progress, but I recognize that the vaccine process isn’t as fast or as easy as many of us would like it to be,” Reynolds said.

The governor’s staff and officials from the Iowa Department of Public Health have been surveying county health departments this past week to learn what may be causing delays. Reynolds praised Polk County for distributing 100% of its weekly allocation before the next shipment arrives. While other counties have shown similar speed in getting the vaccine out the door, the governor said some counties have distribution rates far lower than what should be expected.

“While vaccine supply continues to remain low and will for some time, we must ensure that when shipments are received, they’re getting to the providers as quickly as possible and into the arms of Iowans,” Reynolds said.

Iowans with internet access may go to the Iowa Department of Public Health’s coronavirus website where there’s an interactive map with links to each county health department. Reynolds didn’t give a date, but she’s expecting a “quick turn-around” for creation of a centralized, statewide system to schedule appointments.

“I understand how disappointing it is when you’re finally eligible to get the vaccine and you can’t get through to schedule an appointment,” Reynolds said, “but I’m asking Iowans to please keep in mind that while vaccine supply is limited, appointments will also be limited.”

Starting today, Iowans over the age of 65 who don’t use the internet and haven’t been able to get a Covid shot may call their local Area Agency on Aging for help. Iowans who’ve gotten a first dose, but haven’t been able to schedule a second dose should call the provider that administered the first shot.

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